Le 16 mai, Josu Urrutikoetxea a été arrêté dans un hôpital public en France alors qu’il recevait un traitement d’urgence pour une maladie grave. Il est accusé d’être un membre de l’organisation armée basque ETA.
L’ETA n’existe plus. L’organisation a déclaré unilatéralement la fin des violences en 2011, après la demande, formulée en octobre de cette même année, à Saint-Sébastien, par des personnalités internationales de premier plan. Elle a unilatéralement procédé à son démantèlement devant un Comité international de vérification en avril 2017 et a annoncé publiquement sa dissolution en mai 2018, après plus de cinquante ans d’existence.
Toutes ces étapes n’auraient pas été possibles sans l’engagement et la persévérance absolus et univoques des figures dirigeantes du mouvement indépendantiste basque, et Josu Urrutikoetxea a joué un rôle crucial dans ce processus.… Seguir leyendo »
In 1998, for the first time since partition in 1921, the people of Ireland, North and South, joined in voting for change when they took part in referendums on the Good Friday Agreement. That agreement was founded on the democratic principle that the people of Ireland, North and South, should determine their own future.
The Good Friday Agreement replaced decades of conflict and injustice with a deal that put power-sharing and equality at the heart of government. The agreement was endorsed by a resounding 71 percent of voters in the North and a remarkable 94 percent in the South of Ireland.… Seguir leyendo »
Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the historic and groundbreaking 1994 IRA cessation of military operations. At the same time, however, the political process is facing its greatest challenge since the Good Friday agreement negotiations of 1998.
An anti-Good Friday agreement axis within unionism, the pro-unionist stance of the British secretary of state, Theresa Villiers, Downing Street’s refusal to honour its obligations and its efforts to impose cuts in the welfare system have combined to create the most serious threat to the political institutions in the North in recent years.
No one should underestimate the changes that have taken place since the 1990s.… Seguir leyendo »
The announcement of a ceasefire by Eta on Sunday was the culmination of years of debate, discussion and strategising among Basque activists. It is a significant development and a genuine attempt to contribute to a resolution of the conflict. I believe it has the potential to bring about a permanent end to the conflict with the Spanish state.
This dialogue also involved senior Sinn Féin representatives, including myself. Sometimes the discussions were held in the Basque country, sometimes in Belfast, and on a number of occasions in recent years Sinn Féin representatives travelled to Geneva for meetings with Basque representatives. Many in the Basque country look to the Irish peace process for inspiration, and much of what has been attempted there in the last decade has been modelled on our experience.… Seguir leyendo »
The Orange marching season in the north of Ireland always provides its share of problems. Some of it is the mundane business of finding a way through the inevitable traffic chaos that results from major Orange demonstrations. But this year, as in previous years, a small number of contentious Orange parades have been the focus for confrontation and conflict.
There is also no doubt that a tiny element of so-called dissident republican groups – some of whom are little more than criminal gangs – were able to mobilise an antisocial element to engage in street disorder. Their efforts in Ardoyne failed to stop the Orange march they opposed but succeeded in disrupting life for the nationalist community.… Seguir leyendo »
There is a long affinity between Irish republicans and the Basque people. Each year, large numbers of Basque activists travel to Ireland to meet republican activists and to discuss the situation here and in the Basque country. I have been there several times. In June 2006 I witnessed the huge sense of excitement and expectation that existed during the period of the Eta cessation. The collapse of the cessation in December 2006 after only nine months was a huge disappointment.
Since then there have been behind-the-scenes efforts to restore the opportunity and hope that the cessation had created. I and other senior Sinn Féin activists have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with Batasuna – the Basque political party which was banned seven years ago by the Spanish state because of its support for Eta – and others in an effort to help create new momentum in the stalled Basque peace process.… Seguir leyendo »
It was another «Good Friday» in the peace process yesterday. Hillsborough Castle was the setting for the final piece of the jigsaw of devolution which saw agreement between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist party on the transfer of policing and justice powers and other outstanding matters arising from the Good Friday and St Andrews agreements.
Many had thought it wouldn’t, couldn’t happen. That our respective positions were too far apart. But it did, and it was achieved primarily as a result of very intense discussions between Sinn Féin and the DUP. This is a hugely important, as well as symbolic moment.… Seguir leyendo »
I first met Senator Teddy Kennedy early in October 1994 in Boston. The IRA cessation was over a month old. I was in the US for a fortnight-long coast-to-coast visit – a frenetic city-a-day whirlwind tour.
We started in Boston and Teddy was there to greet us at the airport. From our first meeting I was very taken by him. He had played a very crucial role in the build up to the cessation, in particular by supporting a visa for me. Then as the painstaking work of constructing a peace process continued in Ireland and as it created the possibility and opportunity of an IRA cessation, he also intervened to support an immediate visa for the late Joe Cahill.… Seguir leyendo »
The single most important issue facing the people of Ireland and Britain is the achievement of Irish unity and the construction of a new relationship between Ireland and Britain based on equality.
Economic crises, however severe, will come and go. Governments will come and go, but for more centuries than any of us care to contemplate Britain’s involvement in Ireland has been the source of conflict; partition, discord and division; and great hurt between the people of these islands.
The peace process has delivered an end to conflict and that is to be welcomed and applauded. But the underlying cause of conflict persists – the British government’s claim of jurisdiction over a part of Ireland.… Seguir leyendo »